Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The making of ABC, Baby Me!



© Copyright Alicia Padrón


I was sitting at a table overlooking the water while having ice cream with my lovely agents, Kendra Marcus and Minju Chang on Fisherman's Wharf in SF, when they spilled out the news that Robin Corey Books had decided they wanted me to illustrate ABC, Baby Me!

It was one of those moments that make you feel like you are in a movie. Talk about a great start! I was so happy and excited that I forgot about my ice cream, and that hardly ever happens.. ;o). The manuscript had won my heart and I really wanted to work on this book.

When I get a manuscript for a book I like to take a few days to just think and brainstorm. I don't even hold a pencil in my hand, even though sometimes I am dying to. I just think.

I think while I'm driving, while I'm watching TV, while doing the dishes. I think all day. I visualize the book in my head. I think of what it would be like to be a kid and read this book. I think of different ways of illustrating a particular scene. I think until I feel the book as a whole. A couple of days later I know I'm ready to jump into it, I then grab pencil and paper and ideas just start flowing out of me like crazy. I love it.

For ABC, baby me! it was the same way. I waited 3 days and was able to see this book very clearly in my head and was anxious to start sketching.

Jason Zamajtuk, the art director working with me on this book, was a joy to work with. He is every artist's dream! He gave me complete creative freedom and I was able to work on how I envisioned this book to be. I will always be grateful to him for that.




© Copyright Alicia Padrón



They suggested to have babies with their parents, mom and dad, depicting scenes from Susan's text of every letter of the alphabet. So I began sketching but the more I worked on the book the more I realized that babies are loved by many members of the family, not just mom and dad. Grandparents, big brothers, little sisters and even the family dog love a baby. So I decided to sketch the book this way, some scenes with mom and dad and others with grandparents, siblings and pets. Luckily they loved it and I got a green light to go color.

I painted the art with watercolor, then shaded with graphite pencils and when that was done I worked on the illustrations digitally adding special effects and tweaking color if they needed to. When the art was ready I sent it to them digitally. I then waited many months until that special brown box arrived and I was able to hold the finished book in my hand. The real thing. It's a beautiful moment and honestly, I don't think it will ever get old.






I knew I wanted this book to have a clean and airy feel by showing lots of white in the pages and have only soft spots of art. I wanted it to be entertaining for the adult reading it but specially entertaining for the kid. I wanted it to have scenes that make you feel joy and spreads that make you laugh. I wanted it to be a loving and a bonding experience for the baby and the caregiver reading the book.

I hope this book does all these things. I enjoyed it tremendously and I have to say it will always have a special place in my heart. :o)




© Copyright Alicia Padrón



Thank you all for visiting and sharing the book celebration with me!
And a special thanks to my PBJ's, my lovely group of artist friends, a wonderful support, always...

Remember to leave a comment on any post this week to be entered in the giveaway to win a signed copy. I will announce the winner Sunday and post a little about the author Susan B. Katz and how she was inspired to write this beautiful book.



20 comments:

Kaili said...

Congratulations Alicia! Your artwork is so perfect: soft, delicate and lovely. I especially love the last illustration- so gorgeous!

roz said...

Great post, Ali, thank you! We are so very happy for you and thrilled to be celebrating this week.

Katrina Germein said...

It looks beautiful. You must be thrilled. Congrats from me.

Anette Heiberg said...

It looks great! - and I loved reading this post!

Alicia Padrón said...

Thank you so much Kaili! I love that you think it is delicate. I wanted it to feel delicate in this book. Thank you :o)


Thank YOU so much Rozzita. means a lot to me to have you guys.. you know that.. xo


Thanks Katrina!


Aw thank you Anette, glad you enjoyed the post too! :o)

Suzanne Del Rizzo said...

Great post Alicia! It is so fun to read about how this adorable little book came to be. Congrats congrats!! Thanks for sharing :)

angelic pursuits said...

pretty, pretty, pretty. These are my favorite illustrations you've shown.

Deb said...

A beautiful post Ali. And a beautiful book. I can feel your joy when you write about it and when I look at the pictures. Beautiful!!

Kelly Medina said...

Alicia, you did a wonderful job. Absolutely gorgeous illustrations! It was great to read your process and hear your experience. Congratulations - you rock! :)

Alicia Padrón said...

Thanks so much Suzanne for your sweet comments and for stopping by! :o)


Thanks Angelic, the last one is my favorite illustration in the book. :o)


Thank you SO much Deb!! I'm glad you can feel the joy because it's there!! xoxo


Aww thanks Kelly girl!! :o)

Michelle said...

Congrats, Alicia! Beautiful work!

tusen said...

Alicia, thanks for sharing this. I love your idea of including other family members and even pets. And I love your pictures - they are always so full of warmth.

Judy said...

It's beautiful! I would love to feature it on my blog!

Alicia Padrón said...

Thanks Michelle!

Thank you Tusen. And thank you too for always visiting and commenting on my blog! I really appreciate it. :o)

Thank you Judy! I'd be honored to have ABC, Baby Me on your blog :o)

Gina Perry said...

Congratulations Ali. It really is a beautiful book. I hadn't heard the story about how you found out you'd been offered the book - how dreamy! You did such a great job - this book was really meant for you.

Sweet Pea said...

Congratulations! This book looks adorable. The artwork is so soft and sweet - well done!

Krista said...

Oh my goodness--this book is just perfectly charming!! Congratulations, Alicia!!

Alicia Padrón said...

I know Gina, it was surreal. They actually heard the news right before going to meet me at the pier. It was awesome. Thank you SO much for your sweet words!! xo


Hi Susan, oh thank you!! Means a lot coming from you. :o)


Thanks Krista!! :o)

Christinabean said...

The pictures really do capture the clean airy feel you mentioned. Great work! :D

Alicia Padrón said...

Thanks Christina! I'm glad you think it does. Thanks for visiting us this week :o)